Faculty Directory
Horacio D. Espinosa

James N. and Nancy J. Farley Professor in Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship

Director, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Program

Professor of Mechanical Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech L286
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-5989Email Horacio Espinosa


Micro and Nanomechanics Lab


Mechanical Engineering

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Ph.D. Solid Mechanics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

M.Sc. Applied Mathematics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

M.Sc. Solid Mechanics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

M.Sc. Structural Engineering, Polytechnic of Milan, Milan, Italy

Civil Engineering, Magma Cum Laude, six-year professional degree, Northeast National University, Corrientes/ Resistencia, Argentina

Research Interests

Professor Espinosa’s research is focused in two areas:  (1) measuring and understanding electromechanical characteristics at the micro- and nanoscale of high-performance materials such as carbon-based nanocomposites, natural and bio-inspired materials, and metallic nanowires by utilizing in situ microscopy coupled with computational modeling, and (2) developing novel microfabricated technologies for biological applications that enable unique capabilities for biomechanics, stem cell, and single-cell research.

Significant Recognition

  • Member, Russian Academy of Engineering, 2011-present
  • Murray Medal, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2014
  • Fellow, American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2013
  • Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2013
  • Member, European Academy of Sciences and Arts (elected), 2010
  • Member, U.S. National Committee of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 2010-present
  • Member, Society of Engineering Science Board of Directors (elected), 2008-present
  • Fellow, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2008
  • Lazan Medal, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2008
  • SES Young Investigator Medal, Society of Engineering Science, 2007
  • Hetenyi Award, Society of Experimental Mechanics, 2005
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2004
  • Junior Award, American Academy of Mechanics, 2002
  • Fellow, American Academy of Mechanics, 2001
  • ASME, Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division, Appreciation Award, 2001
  • ONR-Young Investigator Award, 1997
  • NSF-CAREER Award, 1996

Significant Professional Service

  • President, Society of Engineering Science, 2012-present
  • Founding Principal Editor of Materials Research Communications, 2011-present
  • Co-Editor of the Wiley Book Series on Micro and Nanotechnologies, 2009-present
  • Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Experimental Mechanics, 2006-2010
  • Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Mechanics, 2003-2009
  • Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Mechanics, 2002-2006
  • Editor of Mechanics a publication of the American Academy of Mechanics, 1998- 2004
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Nanomechanics and Micromechanics, 2010-present
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Laboratory Automation, 2007-present
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), 2007-present

Selected Publications

    R.A. Bernal, A. Aghaei, S. Lee, S. Ryu, K. Sohn, J. Huang, W. Cai and H.D. Espinosa, "Intrinsic Bauschinger Effect and Recoverable Plasticity in Pentatwinned Silver Nanowires Tested in Tension" Nano Letters, DOI: 10.1021/nl503237t, 2014.

    W. Kang, J.P. Giraldo-Vela, S.S.P. Nathamgari, T. McGuire, R.L. McNaughton, J.A. Kessler and H.D. Espinosa, "Microfluidic Device for Stem Cell Differentiation and Localized Electroporation of Postmitotic Neurons" Lab on a Chip, 14 (23), 4486–4495, 2014.

    A.M. Beese, Z. An, S. Sarkar, S. Shiva P. Nathamgari, H.D. Espinosa and S.T. Nguyen, "Defect-Tolerant Nanocomposites through Bio-Inspired Stiffness Modulation" Advanced Functional Materials, 24 (19), 2883-2891, 2014.

    M.R. Roenbeck, X. Wei, A.M. Beese, M. Naraghi, A. Furmanchuk, J.T. Paci, G.C. Schatz and H.D. Espinosa, "In Situ Scanning Electron Microscope Peeling To Quantify Surface Energy between Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene" ACS Nano, 8 (1), 124–138, 2014.

    R. A. Bernal, T. Filleter, J. G. Connell, K. Sohn, J. Huang, L. J. Lauhon and H. D. Espinosa , "In Situ Electron Microscopy Four-Point Electromechanical Characterization of Freestanding Metallic and Semiconducting Nanowires" Small, 10 (4), 725-733, 2014.

    W. Kang, F. Yavari, M. Minary-Jolandan, J.P. Giraldo-Vela, A. Safi, R.L. McNaughton, V. Parpoil and H.D. Espinosa, "Nanofountain Probe Electroporation (NFP-E) of Single Cells" Nano Letters, 13 (6), 2448-2457, 2013.

    A.M. Beese, D. Papkov, S. Li, Y. Dzenis and H.D. Espinosa, "In Situ Transmission Electron Microscope Tensile Testing Reveals Structure–Property Relationships in Carbon Nanofibers" Carbon, 60, 246-253, 2013.

    A.M. Beese, S. Sarkar, A. Nair, M. Naraghi, Z. An, A. Moravsky, R.O. Loutfy, M.J. Buehler, S.T. Nguyen and H.D. Espinosa, "Bio-Inspired Carbon Nanotube–Polymer Composite Yarns with Hydrogen Bond-Mediated Lateral Interactions" ACS Nano, 7 (4), 3434–3446, 2013.

    O. Loh, X. Wei, J. Sullivan, L.E. Ocola, R. Divan and H.D. Espinosa, "Carbon-Carbon Contacts for Robust Nanoelectromechanical Switches" Advanced Materials, 24 (18), 2463–2468, 2012.

    T. Filleter, S. Ryu, K. Kang, J. Yin, R.A. Bernal, K. Sohn, S. Li, J. Huang, W. Cai and H.D. Espinosa, "Nucleation-Controlled Distributed Plasticity in Penta-twinned Silver Nanowires" Small, 8 (19), 2986-2993, 2012.

    H.D. Espinosa, A. Juster, F. Latourte, O. Loh, D. Grégoire and P. Zavattieri "Tablet-level Origin of Toughening in Abalone Shells and Translation to Synthetic Composite Materials" Nature Communications, 2 (173), 2011.

    R.A. Bernal, R. Agrawal, B. Peng, K.A. Bertness, N.A. Sanford, A.V. Davydov and H.D. Espinosa, "Effect of Growth Orientation and Diameter on the Elasticity of GaN Nanowires. A Combined in Situ TEM and Atomistic Modeling Investigation" Nano Letters, 11 (2), 548–555, 2011.

In the Classroom

Professor Espinosa has taught a variety of courses, including Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), Experiments in Micro/Nano Science and Engineering, Experimental Engineering, Elasticity, Damage and Inelasticity of Advanced Materials, Advanced Computational Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, and Aircraft Structures.

His teaching philosophy addresses issues that require particular attention in modern education: (a) the increasingly international world of business and markets; (b) the technological advances that are continuously raising the speed at which information is obtained and transmitted; and (c) the dynamics of the job market that makes likely that most individuals will enjoy several careers in their lifetime. It is his view that a student-centered curriculum in which the student takes responsibility for her or his education rather than a rigid and static core curriculum is the best choice for the future. Such a curriculum maximizes multidisciplinary course work, independent study and research (honor degrees), and encourages experimentation and intellectual expansion.